Increasing Your Creativity/How to get better

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Question
I enjoy writing. I want to be a writer. The thing is my imagination is dull. I mean I come up with things that everyone writes. it has that same happy ending, like it's predictable. I can write for hours, even days. Sometimes I get something good but it turns weird. either it goes personal, or goes nowhere. I just want to know how to clear my head and come up with clear thoughts to help come up with something good. can you help?

Answer
Hello Samirrah:

What you are talking about is called "thinking outside the box." I think your problem is that you are settling for the first thing you think of. I tell my students, "Always reject the first thing that comes to mind, as it is sure to be a cliche." Instead, keep thinking on to the third or fourth or fifth thing. Say you are struggling with what hair color your heroine should have. After you have passed through the usual red, brown, yellow, grey, what about no hair? What problems would being bald present to a girl? Keep exploring this idea, it will lead you to some interesting complications.

Actually, there are no new stories, only old stories written different ways. Stories fall into different genres (romance, drama, mystery, etc.), and generally follow a formula: the lead character wants something and meets different challenges on the way to success. She may lose or she may win, but some stories end with no resolution at all. The genre and formula remains the same; the difference is in how you handle the development of the story.

The kind of writing you are doing now is called "lazy writing." That means you are not thinking hard enough about your work. Try to go beyond the ideas that first come to mind. When you come to a stopping place, make something happen, an earthquake, a sudden flood, a breakup, etc., then find a way to get your characters out of it. Ask yourself, "What if...? Again, get past the first couple of things that come to mind.

No one can write your story but you. Take heart; if you follow this advice, your stories will not come out like anyone else's, nor will they be dull. Your problem isn't that you have no imagination, but that you have not exercised it.

I hope this has helped. If it has, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high scores over 950 questions.

Thanks for writing!

Increasing Your Creativity

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Susan Rand

Expertise

Questions about writing in general, creativity (how to make your writing totally YOU - unique as you are); how to make it stand out from the competition; how to spark your creative juices; how to make it flow; how to make your characters seem like real people; how to control emotion in the reader and much more! Please no homework questions.

Experience

I have been writing and teaching writing for several decades. I have written 5 books and several short stories. Over the years I have read and studied many books on "how to write." I can correct spelling and usage mistakes, and I know punctuation.

Education/Credentials
BA in the Humanities, with an emphasis on Written Communication, 1982

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